Ambassadors from ten ASEAN nations pose for a photo with Speaker of the Republic of Korea's National Assembly Chung Sye-kyun at a banquet to mark the 50th ASEAN Anniversary in Seoul on November 2. (Photo: VNA)

Seoul (VNA) – ASEAN is taking a centre stage in shaping agenda for peace and prosperity in the region and beyond, said Cambodian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Long Dimanche at a banquet hosted by the ten ASEAN nations in Seoul on November 2.

The banquet was held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN with ambassadors from ten ASEAN nations, including Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu, Speaker of the RoK National Assembly Chung Sye-kyun and many foreign diplomats in Seoul in attendance.

Opening the event, he looked back on the time when five ASEAN founding members – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines – signed the ASEAN Declaration in 1967, “with aspirations to promote regional cooperation and contribute towards peace, progress and prosperity in the region”.

Ambassador Long hailed ASEAN as one of the most successful regionalism models in the world that “shows how integration becomes plausible despite differences in backgrounds, cultures and stages of development.”

The ambassador also expressed his delight at the growth of the ASEAN-RoK relations since the two sides initiated sectorial dialogue in 1989.

In his congratulatory remarks, Chung highly spoke of the ASEAN development over the past five decades. “Though having to face numerous challenges and hardships since its inception, the countries of ASEAN have been marching forward for integration, and not losing the first purpose for creating regional peace and communal prosperity”, he said.

Speaker of the Republic of Korea's National Assembly Chung Sye-kyun makes a congratulatory remark at the banquet. (Photo: VNA)

He moved on to talk about the progress in the RoK-ASEAN relation, which was elevated to partners of comprehensive cooperation in 2004 and Strategic Partnership in 2010. “At present, ASEAN is the 2nd trading partner of Korea and Korea is the 6th trading partner of ASEAN.”

“ASEAN and Korea are the main partners in many aspects”, he noted, urging that the two sides have to develop and increase mutual cooperation and reliance more than ever. “Korea needs ASEAN and ASEAN needs Korea. When we help each other, we will be prosperous together,” he stressed.

Chung vowed that the RoK will continue to provide support for the steady and continuous development of ASEAN.

To mark the 50th ASEAN Anniversary and the 2017 ASEAN-Korea Cultural Exchange Year, the RoK government opened the ASEAN Culture House in Busan on September 1 which also would serve to boost bilateral cultural cooperation and people-to-people contact and to enhance Koreans’ understanding of the culture and societies of ASEAN countries.-VNA